tv Morning Joe MSNBC January 20, 2012 6:00am-9:00am EST
okay... is this where we're at now, we just eat whatever tastes good? like these sweet honey clusters... actually there's a half a day's worth of fiber in every ... why stop at cereal? bring on the pork chops and the hot fudge. fantastic. are you done sweetie? yea [ male announcer ] fiber beyond recognition. fiber one. hey, i love your cereal there-- it's got that sweet honey taste. but no way it's 80 calories, right? no way. lady, i just drive the truck. right, there's no way right, right? have a nice day. [ male announcer ] 80 delicious calories. fiber one. all right. time for one quick e-mail back in new york with our producer john tower.
what do you got? >> we've got allen in maine, writes good to see you inside. worried they would make you interview that horse again. >> you know, let's not blame loretta who is a wonderful horse. she is a horse after all, let's blame our director, t.j. who has some weird horse thing. he wanted me at the beginning of yesterday's show to ride in on a carriage to give a little charleston flavor. refused. i'm just not going to do it. i'm not going to do the horse again. "morning joe" starts right now. . as you know, your ex-wife gave an interview to abc news and another interview at the "washington post" and this story has gone viral on the internet. she says you came to her in 1999 at a time when you were having an affair. she says you asked her, sir, to
enter into an open marriage. would you like to take some time to respond to that? no, but i will. i think the destructive, vicious, negative nature of much of the news media makes it harder to govern this country, harder to attract decent people to run for public office. and i am appalled that you would begin a presidential debate on a topic like that. every person in here has had someone close to them go through painful things. to take an ex-wife and make it two days before the primary a significant question or presidential campaign is as close to despicable as anything i can imagine.
my two daughters, my two daughters wrote the head of abc and made the point that it was wrong that they should pull it, and i am frankly astounded that cnn would take trash like that and use it to open a presidential debate. >> as you noted, mr. speaker, this story did not come from our network. it is a subject of conversation on the campaign. i take your point. >> john, it was repeated by your network. you chose to start the debate with it. don't try to blame somebody else. your staff chose to start the debate with it. >> okay. >> now, let me be quite clear -- let me be quite clear. the story is false, every personal friend i have who knew us in that period knew the story was false. we offered several of them to abc to prove it was false. they weren't interested because they would like to attack any republican, they're attacking the governor, attacking me, i'm sure they'll get around to
senator santorum and congressman paul. i'm tired of the elite media protecting barack obama by attacking the public. >> what a difference a day makes. the republican presidential race. good morning, it is friday, january 20th. welcome to "morning joe." we're live from the mills house how tell in charleston. >> wow. what a town. >> what a night. did you all see the debate? yeah. >> well, you know, mika, what a city. what a state. what a political show over the past 24 hours. john heilemann was saying coming in that this may have been the most eventful 24 hours in american politics -- >> it is in this race. >> in a long time. >> it is in this race for sure, maybe in politics. i'm not sure about that.
>> now, what did you think? i've got to ask you. and i want to go around here -- >> haleprin, heilemann. >> hello. >> guys, cast of -- >> this is a rowdy group. >> that's what south carolina's about. what is it about south carolina, mika, that every time the campaign's come down here just explodes. you can go back, of course, to 2000, 2008, things always happen here, but what about john king leading last night with a question that he led with? i -- i just don't see it. >> first of all, it was four candidates, which was interesting. >> it was nice. >> they walk out and you think, this is going to be interesting, you get to hear them engage. john king on the cnn debate goes right after newt gingrich, right after the affair he had with i guess now his third wife and the
fact that his second wife did an interview with abc asking -- saying he had asked for an open marriage. and john king led off the debate -- >> led the debate with it. >> willie's going, what? come on. >> no, no, no -- this is a fascinating question, by the way, in terms of media ethics. >> do you lead with that question? >> i'm struggling with it. having said that, you know -- >> the biggest problem is, willie geist, these are charges he denied. these are charges that his children, you know, asked abc to push back on. >> it's a presidential race, a question of character. >> but there is a question. he has denied it. do you lead a debate, a presidential debate, the defining moment of a republican primary process with a he said/she said. much different in newt gingrich 12 hours earlier had driven into another car and rolled out and people took a picture of him with a whiskey bottle in his hand. that's fact. >> that might happen today.
>> this is allegation. >> but willie, that -- i've got to say, when it started and i said he's really starting a cnn debate with a he said/she said dust-up from a rival network from a guy brian ross who we all know loves to mix it up and loves to push the outer boundaries of journalism. is that how you lead a debate off? >> you had to ask the question, i would not have led the debate on it. you could see newt's eyes getting wide. he knew he was going to have a moment like that, he didn't know it was going to be the first thing in the debate and it gave him additional ammunition. not only are you asking me about this thing i've answered over the years, but you're asking me first. and that allowed him to have the moment that stole the rest of the debate. >> i think apart from media ethics, as a matter of strategy and tactics. gingrich as willie said knows this is coming. you're giving him this incredibly fat pitch over the
middle of the plate when you know that gingrich in previous debate has scored points by attacking the media. >> gingrich resurrected his campaign, mark haleprin, by attacking the media in debates. john king walked right into the lion's den with a suit of meat strapped to him. it just was not the smartest move. forget media ethics for a second. it was dumb, he played into gingrich's hands. >> i started in journalism the same time john king did. he's one of the best political reporters in the country. i think the way he phrased it and by starting with it, he did make a mistake. he said since the debate he's an old wire guy and the wire you lead with the lead. i don't think that was the lead. >> he also said the elephant in the room he wanted to get out of the way. >> and i saw john's quote and i understand. if gingrich had done something that became news and everybody
knew that it'd occurred, that's fine. that is the lead. but the lead is not an allegation from an ex-wife who has every reason to be angry at her ex-husband going back a decade or so, dredging up what they may or may not have said together in the secrecy of their own bedroom. if that is the lead in american politics in 2012, we are all in a hell of a lot of trouble. >> let me ask you, though, let's move on -- >> this is a guy not defending newt gingrich very much. >> look at what happened and how newt handled it, first of all. and secondly, the audience. this guy got a standing ovation -- >> two. >> two standing ovations. >> at a republican debate on the issue. >> about his open marriage. >> of his marriage and whether or not it was open. what's going on? what's happening? seriously. >> it is allegedly open marriage. >> no, no --
>> let's not get funny about this. >> bill clinton changed the rules back in 1999 when he was caught lying about a personal matter and his approval ratings went up because people thought the press and the republican party overreached. >> but this is south carolina. >> that's right and south carolina is still the last time i checked a member of the union, that may change if they decide to fire on ft. sumter over the next 24 hours. but i think a lot of americans understand how serious these times are. >> yeah. >> and i think we've been talking for some time about how the president need eed to be focused on jobs, the candidates need to be focused on jobs. i think americans are tired of this sort of kardashian nature of the campaign. >> were you surprised he got such an incredible response? >> no, i'm not surprised because i'm a republican and i'm from the south and i don't want to hear a debate starting that way.
i want them talking about jobs or a nuclear weapon in iran or the challenges we face. i think there were two huge take aways last night from the debate. and the second one is mitt romney -- >> yeah. >> -- fumbling again over -- let me address right now the staff of mitt romney -- >> please. just tell them. give them a little advice. no, just between you guys. >> deep breath. >> mitt is going to be asked again about releasing his tax returns. you screwed up, not having it like an answer ready a year and a half ago. you screwed up two nights ago, you screwed up again last night. if you were running my campaign, you'd be fired this morning. but you're not, i think mitt is much more charitable than i am.
get your act together or go home. do not let mitt do anything today until he has an answer and repeats it in the mirror ten times and repeats it to you. if you're too stupid to do that -- >> oh, now, be nice. >> you're too stupid to run a presidential campaign and too stupid to get into the white house with mitt romney if he wins. that said -- that said, i was flabbergasted, absolutely flabbergasted that once again mitt romney was ill-prepared to such a degree that the front-runner was booed in south carolina. this is inexplicable and romney's staff should be ashamed of themselves this morning. >> back in 1967, your father set a ground breaking -- what was a ground-breaking standard in american politics. he released his tax returns. he released them not for one year, but for 12 years. and when he did that, he said this. one year could be a fluke
perhaps done for show. when you release yours, will you follow your father's example? >> maybe. you know, i don't know how many years i'll release, i'll take a look at what our documents are. and i'll release multiple years. i don't know how many years, but i'll be happy to do that. let me tell you, i know there are some who are very anxious to see if they can't make it more difficult for a campaign to be successful. i know the democrats want to go after the fact i've been successful. i'm not going to apologize for being successful. i went off on my own, i didn't inherit money from my parents. what i have, i earned. i worked hard in the american way. >> oh. >> it's painful. >> really. >> it's amazing, especially in context of the comparison to gingrich who had an equally predictable question coming and answered it, you know, was
clearly just ready, armed for bear -- >> many would say a much tougher question. >> and he turned that tough question to his advantage yesterday. romney with a totally predictable question manages to, you know, flub it completely again, and it is, you know, it's not just the staff, i think there's something about him. he is really not comfortable talking about this issue. and there's a failure of preparation, but there's also something going on with him where he is not -- look at the eye roll. there's just -- something going on internally with him talking about this issue that is clearly coming out. >> which, mika, leads back to what i said yesterday about the old country lawyer who told me, get it all out there because people assume the worst. yesterday i did not assume the worst of mitt romney. but this morning, i'm starting to say, what can be in those tax returns that are so damning that he is willing to set his campaign on fire? i guess this race is getting closer by the moment, newt
gingrich, in some polls, actually moviing ahead. >> i think the extent gingrich was the momentum candidate before the debate, i think he only accelerated and romney really exacerbated some of the problems he had. santorum valiantly tried to get this back to a three-person dynamic. he didn't do it. and in a two-person race with perry out, the palins stepping up their advocacy on behalf of gingrich. right now if i had to pick, i would say gingrich will win this primary. >> it's 6:15 in the morning. 24 hours ago when we sat here, here's this updated poll with gingrich up six points. rick perry was in the race 24 hours ago, mitt romney had won iowa 24 hours, the term open marriage had not been used in the discussion of this campaign 24 hours ago. mitt romney was on top of the national polls 24 hours ago. i was riding around with these two clowns yesterday. >> why would you do that?
>> in a clown car. >> which i thought was a nice touch. this day alone, this 24 hours is going to span three chapters in the change book. >> john, you think it's one of the most important days? >> well, certainly it's one of the -- >> eventful days. >> the most surreal in this campaign. >> with the exception of everything herman cain did. >> yes. look, it's kind of amazing. you think about the narrative if mark is right and newt gingrich wins this primary, the meta narrative of mitt romney coming out of south carolina if he had won, if he wins. the notion he'd won three. and he'd done for all of our talk about him being a weak front-runner in iowa, new hampshire, and south carolina. and we would have to say, turns out mitt romney's one of the strongest front-runners, strongest presidential candidates in history to now if, again, if gingrich does win
tomorrow having to have a race where now for the first time in history three different people have won the first three contests. that's also a first. that is as big a switcharoo in 24 hours we've seen. and everyone talks about it in the national media level heading into florida. this is a thoetly different race if that turns out to be the case than if it had turned out the way we thought it would be 24 hours ago. >> is that true, mark? for all the excitement and energy, excitement around the last 24 hours for as well as newt gingrich did last night. does this remain a south carolina event? or is it becoming a national event? does it change the race? >> three weeks ago gingrich was well ahead in the polls in florida. >> 25 points. >> so whatever was propelling that, whatever voter pool he was drawing from, perhaps he will get spectacular coverage out of this if he wins this primary.
spectacular. and romney, there'll be a lot of soul searching, people saying what's wrong with mitt romney? he had all of these advantages. florida is a good state for gingrich, he'll have resources, he'll have earned media. there's a debate nbc's doing on monday night in florida. so he'll be fresh out of a victory if he does win heading into another debate, the pressure will be on romney. again, long-term, romney is the clear favorite to win this nomination because of the advantages he'd have over the long-term, but in the short-term, if mitt romney loses iowa, south carolina, and potentially florida, he's going to have to fight harder for this nomination than we thought -- >> willie, you know yesterday i told you newt gingrich speaks grievance was the word, the grievance that republicans, especially conservative republicans in the south feel for 1,000 different reasons, whether people in manhattan think it's legitimate or not. but i will tell you last night, did you notice when gingrich shot back at john king, did you
notice everybody jumped to their feet. twice. >> twice. >> two standing ovations. >> this is what you need to know about why newt speaks to the republican base and why this won't just be a south carolina event. because if mitt romney said something maybe got an applause line. the santorum people would've stayed seated, because he's speaking to his people. but when newt is able to embrace the sense of grievance, and when republicans remember and they do, this is a guy who back in 1979 got under tip o'neill's skin so much that tip stormed -- it was unbelievable. he stormed the chamber, screamed and yelled and said the most despicable things he'd seen in 32 years in politics.
this is a guy that speaks to republican sense, legitimate or not, of disenfranchisement. and that goes from the mainstream media, culture, that works in florida, that works for the republicans across america. >> given everything you just said, do you think then newt gingrich could become the republican nominee for president? or is it still mitt romney's? >> i think -- and this is my opinion. i think newt -- something's happening here by the way. there's a reason why. remember after iowa i said that if mitt wins iowa, there's going to be a revolt among conservatives, well, newt is the vessel that people like sarah palin and others who want a brokered convention are riding right now. and they want to keep this going. and when it looks like newt gets a little ahead, they'll find another vessel. the republican -- i've said it before, they want a brokered convention.
and newt is the next step there. do you guys think -- have you heard -- has anybody said in the republican establishment, man, i want newt to be our nominee? >> another thing that happens -- hadn't happened 24 hours ago is the republicans named mitch daniels to give the response to president obama at the state of the union. >> really? that's interesting. >> and i can tell you there are already hepeople imagining a scenario. well, we can't be for gingrich, daniels goes out for a great response. i'm not saying people are going to draft mitch daniels, but people will look at that and say, wow, do we really want to send in mitt romney or -- >> or the people that i always talk about. when people say, joe, don't you love the republican party? yes. chris christie, jeb bush, mitch daniels, paul ryan. >> are we talking about these guys again? is this what has happened? has this be dredged up? >> and this is important for
people at home to understand this. you know, i'd been talking quietly to the most powerful, i think, conservative movers and shakers in washington over the past couple of weeks trying to get their read. are we really going down this path? every single one i've spoken to is trying to figure out a way to get to a brokered convention. everyone thinks, resents that i sort of -- the fact that mitt romney's people think that he's entitled to this. they're all thinking -- i don't know whether it's possible or not, but that's what the republican establishment wants. >> the republican establishment has never been for mitt romney the way that the establishment has been for previous establishment front runners. and they've always had big doubts about him. and in the course of this week because of errors he's caused himself and some forced on him, he's raised those doubts higher over the course of this last week. and mark said there'll be a lot of soul searching, if romney loses here, that goes to your
scenario because they've never loved him. never believed him. >> you guys are hearing the same thing from conservative leaders. >> of course. >> they all want a brokered convention. >> a single moment has literally just cut open a whole new -- >> thank you, south carolina. >> may be getting a break -- >> what's that? >> watch to see if we might see favorite sons run for anyone getting a majority to have a brokered convention. >> that's amazing. all right. >> it's pretty clear, though. in that first five minutes newt gingrich won that debate and those guys must have sat there knowing that. what do you do after that? >> what is it about south carolina? they blow up democratic primaries with bill clinton four years ago, they blow up republican primaries with george w. bush eight years ago, they start civil wars.
that's why we love them. and they also have somebody else. a favorite son who tried to get on the ballot here. >> we're only just beginning. stephen colbert will be here. congressman jim clyburn, our favorite, and the "washington post" eugene robinson. up next, mike allen is here with politico's playbook. good stuff this morning, mika and joe, from south carolina, and that's where we start with our forecast for the primary. it's not going to rain all day. there'll be periods of rain, especially late in the afternoon in the upstate areas. beautiful warm weather along the coast. let's talk about snow because we have a little mini snowstorm heading through iowa this morning, chicago during the day today, and eventually that'll work its way toward the east. areas like pittsburgh, philadelphia, new york, southern new england saturday morning, you wake up to snow, maybe a little bit of wintery mix out of that. as far as the forecast heading into the weekend, colder air in
the northern plains, west coast, a little bit of a break today. what a disaster in the pacific northwest, especially with the freezing rain yesterday, schools are still canceled today for the third straight day. and as we go into saturday, we watch the snowstorm exiting new england and clear sunday in most areas of the country, the exception being the west coast. if you want updates on the snowfall map, get those on my twitter and facebook account. you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks.
santorum's got his own problems. while criticizing newt gingrich for doing this commercial with nancy pelosi, listen to what santorum claimed. >> the only person i ever sat on a couch with is my wife. >> folks, a damning photo has already come to light of rick santorum sharing a couch with a man. i'm sorry, that is an affront to the sanctity of traditional sofa. you start accepting man on man couching and it's a slippery soap to accepting dog on couching.
>> that's an explosive revelation, explosive. >> wow. >> with us now, really the man everyone's here to see. >> it's true. >> mr. mike allen. >> we saw him walking the streets of charleston this morning. >> really? >> you can't miss him the way he walks. >> you were just roaming? >> i was buying -- >> he was walking very -- in a very determined fashion. >> very determined. >> so we opened the window and he goes, hey, sunshine. >> that's his greeting, and it is happy friday, mike. >> happy friday. >> happy friday. >> what a great crowd this is. and joe back here -- he's an early adopter, a colbert '08. >> wow. he's out ahead of it. >> we'll talk this morning about newt gingrich, an exchange he had with newt gingrich. >> grandiosity has never been a problem with newt gingrich. he handles it very well.
a month ago he was saying that, oh, it's inevitable that i'm going to win the election and i'm destined to do it. i don't want a nominee that i have to worry about going out looking at the paper the next day and worrying about what he's going to say next. and that's what i think we're seeing here. so i was 2-0 coming into south carolina, and i should get out of the race. these are not -- these are not cogent thoughts. let's just be honest. newt a friend, i love him, but at times he's got sort of that worrisome moment that something's going to pop and we can't afford that in a nominee. we need someone -- i'm not the most flamboyant and i don't get the biggest applause lines here, but i'm steady, i'm solid, i'm not going to go out and do things you're going to worry about. >> these are not cogent
thoughts, something's going to pop. pretty good attack. generally mark haleprin gave newt an "a" plus on his performance last night. did it make a difference in voting? >> sure, it did. he could win, nate silver, the "new york times" also saying that newt gingrich is 62% chance of winning -- >> not 61%, not 63%, but -- >> 62.93%. >> he's got a super computer. i think the more important question is how does the "new york times" sunday magazine give him a front-page story? go ahead. >> what we saw there in that clip was one of mitt romney's only good moments of the night. because it gave him the chance to really tee off on gingrich during the break. we were enjoying an e-mail that the romney campaign sent out, joe klein says it's one of the five best press releases of any sort that he's seen in his life. >> the best press release ever released. >> what? >> the romney people did something right last night.
>> the subject line of his e-mail is "i quote grandiose quotes." in august of 1958 i talk about saving civilization. >> i want to hear more. more. >> "i have an enormous personal ambition. i want to shift the entire planet and i'm doing it." >> fantastic. >> keep going. more. >> more. more. >> i think i'm a transformational figure, i'm essentially revolutionary, philosophically i'm different than normal politicians. >> he compares himself to william wallace. >> i want the william wallace quote. >> the biggest -- it says there's a litany of historical figures. the litany of figures. ronald reagan and margaret thatcher, charles degal, william wallace, peroclese, thomas
edison, vince lombardi, moses, and a viking. >> wow. >> oh, man. >> that is pretty much money i would say. >> oh, my gosh. >> mike, what's happening in this race right now? clearly over the last 24 hours, really the last week or so something has shifted underneath the feet of these candidates. >> this race is going to last. we were debating whether florida was going to matter. of course it does. even if mitt romney moves ahead in this, he's shown real vulnerability in this. and we saw some of the real ways the president can get a real lead on him. we thought this was going to be neck and neck until the end, last night you see how he answered that tax question? president obama could easily get up on him, don't you think? >> i do. i think there's -- he has in the course of -- on these issues, financial issues, tax returns, the gordon gekko ritchie rich ima imaging, i can't imagine a scenario that would make them any happier out of chicago.
i can't. >> let me say this -- this is the only thing that we have to remember. and, you know, people hate when i talk about my experiences in politics. i don't know if they expect me to talk about my experiences as a plumber, but i'm going to talk about my experiences in politics. when i ran, i was running against a 16-year incumbent, he dropped out half way through the race. from april to september, early september when the republicans had their primary, very late. there are like 80 of us killing each other, and there was one democrat. by the time we finished chopping each other up into little pieces, by the time i started running against a democrat in september, we had a war machine. we had 400 volunteers, we had mailing lists, phone trees, and you know what he'd been doing? sitting around going, i'm going to wait to see which one i'm campaigning against. >> that's not the case with these guys. >> no, but my point, i think it is the case the tougher mitt romney's path is, the better he will be when he gets out on the
other side. >> it's hard to see it right now. >> the president's team been planning for romney for almost a year. >> you understand my point. tough campaigns make candidates better. >> mitt romney had been saying that he wanted to earn it as his -- >> well, he's earning it. >> well, he is. he got his wish. >> well, you know, willie, talking about how quickly things have changed. yesterday, i was sure we were all going to get to be home with our family. >> no, sir. >> because we were in iowa, then we were in new hampshire, then we were in south carolina. and i was like, you know what? i'm going to get to hang out at home for more than three days in a row. this morning, we walked in, mika turned to me and said, we're going to florida. >> i said that yesterday. >> that's how much it's changed. >> on to florida. >> and santorum is staying in. >> he had a good night last night. he was overshadowed by newt, but had a good night. still here on "morning joe" -- much more straight ahead.
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welcome back inside the mills house here in charleston. people are becoming a little irrational this morning due to a guest who is going to be here in a little while. what time did you get here this morning? >> 2:30 or so. >> was it to see mark haleprin? >> absolutely. >> i can tell you by your sweatshirt. mr. colbert, voting for him this year is going to be a little more complicated because you have to vote for herman cain. >> correct. >> are you prepared to vote for herman cain? >> it's going to be tough, but yes. >> his views on foreign policy, for example, u-becky-becky-stan-stan? >> i'm a huge fan of pizza.
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all right. welcome back to "morning joe." live in charleston, south carolina. time now for the must-read opinion pages. charles krauthammer. the gop's suicide march he calls it. economic inequality is an important issue. but the idea that it is the cause of america's current economic troubles is absurd. yet in a stroke, the republicans have succeeded in turning a democratic talking point a last ditch attempt at salvaging reelection by distracting from their record into a central focus of the nation's political discourse. all eyes are on south carolina and romney's taxes. this is no mainstream media conspiracy, this is the gop maneuvering itself right on to obama terrain. the president is a very smart man, but if he wins in november, that won't be the reason. it will be luck. he could not have chosen more self-destructive adversaries.
>> krauthammer as always nails it. >> yeah. that's about as crystallizing as it comes and searing, as well. >> the republican field, mark haleprin has moved this race on to president obama's terrain. >> if, as it appears right now, there are two options for the republican nomination, newt gingrich and mitt romney. the republican establishment is unhappy with newt gingrich. and you have people like haley barbour saying if gingrich is at the top of the ticket, we'll lose the white house. romney's the only one who has a chance in the field right now to convince people like krauthammer, i can fix this. not only can be strong myself, but -- >> but look at what haas doing every night. what do you think charles kra krauthammer was thinking? what do you think erick erikson was thinking? what do you think george will was thinking? why do you think the "wall
street journal" editorial page was thinking last night as they saw mitt romney fumble yet again. a basic question about releasing tax returns. >> slow motion disaster. >> we know that every eventual nominee in both parties faces like their moment of truth. and mitt romney didn't face it until the last seven days or so. right now he's not rising to the occasion. he still has a chance to and he could next week, but we'll see. this is it for him. this is where, you know, where his medal is being tested for the first time in this race. and i'd be very concerned about what i've seen in the last seven days. but he'll have another week, another month -- >> what a difference a week can make. remember new hampshire's victory speech. >> you've said this many times, you can't play four corners in politics. had e looks like he's waiting for the clock to run out and newt gingrich is a street fighter. he's not going to let him hold the ball. >> peggy noonan also had a column today and talking about how this has turned into a clown
show. >> the hope for the party is that someone emerges. krauthammer's critical not only in the presidential field, but what republicans and congress have done. the signs the economy is getting better, the president is still a better political athlete than any of the republicans running. he's still got republicans on the defensive on the payroll tax cut. the republicans who were confident before are looking for a savior and worried that gingrich and romney is not the person. >> let's not forget, john heilemann following up on krauthammer's second point about the republican congress, we kick around this republican field, the leadership there has fumbled the ball so badly, they ended the year on a terrible note, gave the president of the united states a huge victory by putting themselves against middle class tax cuts by standing in the way of the keystone pipeline. they had all of these things, and they had the president back on his heels, and they flubbed,
plus, the way i measure republican success is how much did the deficit go up? how much did the debt go up? we added another $1 trillion to the national debt the first year republicans were in power. spent more money than the year before. and the house has the checkbook constitutionally. >> neither politically nor substantively are the republicans in position. up next, our heart felt good-bye to rick perry. >> i love south carolina! you're watching "morning joe." we are live from the mills house in charleston! >> wow.
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>> you goobers. >> anyway, when herman cain dropped out of the race in early december, we paid him a fond farewell, he deserved it. yesterday, we lost another good one in rick perry. he bowed out of the race. so again this morning, we say good-bye. >> i can't bear it. >> as i've contemplated the future of this campaign, i have come to the conclusion that there is no viable path forward for me. ♪ i will remember you ♪ will you remember me >> it's three agencies of government when i get there that are gone. commerce, education, and the -- what's the third one there? i can't. the third one, i can't. i'm sorry. oops. >> if you want a slick debater, i'm obviously not your guy. >> against the second amendment before he was before the second amendment was before he was --
he was before -- >> you try concentrating with mitt romney smiling at you. that is one handsome dude. >> oops. >> there's something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military, but our kids can't openly celebrate christmas. >> to expand your tax footprint, if you know what i mean. you can take herman cain and mate him up with newt gingrich, i think you would have a couple of really interesting guys to work with. live free or die, victory or death. bring it. the ultimate justice in the state of texas and that is you will be executed. i don't know what y'all will do to them in iowa, but we would treat them pretty ugly down in texas. if they print any money over there in washington, the gold's going to be good. ♪ memories >> those of you that will be 21 by november the 12th, i ask for
your support and your vote. >> no, not the -- >> sonia sotomayor? >> yeah. i grew up on a farm. he's flipping more than that great movie star flipper. it is a ponzi scheme. help is on the way, brother. amen, brother. love you, brother. today has been awesome, girl. the coolest thing. i'm a doer, not a talker. and save a pretzel for the gas jets. ♪ i would fly higher than an eagle ♪ ♪ for you are the wind beneath my wings ♪ >> adios, mofo. ♪ did i ever tell you you're my hero ♪ >> texas governor rick perry. see you on down the road.
part two will be tomorrow because we couldn't fit it -- no, just one part. >> incredible. >> he finished strong. >> he did. much better in the debates, be uh y but you won't see that in our fondest. >> stephen colbert is here, jim clyburn, andrea mitchell, and gene robinson having a couple of irish coffees at the bar. we'll be right back in charleston. [ male announcer ] new starbucks blonde roast is another way to look at the bean. another way that reveals the lighter, mellower side of our roast. being blonde is nothing new but blonde roast is something new. something subtle. something soft. something with 40 years of roasting experience on its side. introducing delicious new starbucks blonde roast. the lighter roast perfected. ♪
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as you know, your ex-wife gave an interview to abc news and another interview at the washington post and this story has gone viral on the internet. in it she says you came to her in 1999 at a time when you were having an affair. she says you asked her, sir, to enter into an open marriage. would you like to take some time to respond to that? >> no, but i will. i think the destructive, vicious, negative nature of much of the news media makes it harder to govern this country, harder to attract decent people to run for public office, and i am appalled that you would begin a presidential debate on a topic
like that. every person in here has had someone close to them go through painful things. to take an ex-wife and make it two days before the primary a significant question in a presidential campaign is as close to despicable as anything i can imagine. my two daughters -- my two daughters wrote the head of abc and made the point that it was wrong, that they should pull it, and i am frankly astounded that cnn would take trash like that and use it to open a presidential debate. >> as you noted, mr. speaker,
this story did not come from our network. and it is a subject of conversation on the campaign. i get your point. i take your point. >> john, it was repeated by your network, you chose to start the debate with it. don't try to blame somebody else. you and your staff chose to start this debate with it. now, let me be quite clear. the story is false, every personal friend i have who knew us in that period said the story was false. we offered several of them to abc to prove it was false. they weren't interested because they would like to attack any republican. they're attacking the governor, they're attacking me, i'm sure they'll get around to senator santorum and senator paul. i'm tired of the elite media helping barack obama by attacking the republican candidates. >> welcome back to "morning joe" live in charleston, south carolina. mark haleprin still with us. joining us now msnbc political analyst eugene robinson.
>> eugene! >> host of "andrea mitchell reports," andrea mitchell. let's get right to it. >> by the way, our good friend chris christie -- >> please give him my regards. >> he loves you. >> yes, yes. >> and we're going to get you guys together. >> we'll work it out. >> maybe over a bowl of soup and salad and you guys can work that out. >> absolutely. and we'll take a walk afterwards. >> dressing on the side. >> we hate it when your good friends don't get along, but i think we can patch this up. >> that was incredible. new polls out of south carolina, by the way, show the race is tightening. last night you saw the moment with newt gingrich taking on the first question of the debate. about his ex-wife and whether or not he had asked for an open marriage. john king went right there and newt gingrich struck back as you saw to a standing ovation to the
audience in south carolina. that was amazing. >> look at these numbers. this happened as a backdrop, mika, of newt gingrich blowing ahead. >> surging ahead. >> of mitt romney, it was an incredible moment, wasn't it? >> it was. and i wonder, actually, everyone saw the debate last night. all right. here's my question, did you think that was an appropriate question at the top of the debate? >> yes. >> little debate in the room. >> all right. well, i think republicans would say no and democrats here are saying yes. sort of split down the middle. >> but it's an issue. >> andrea, it was a remarkable moment. and i said can you believe that happened in south carolina? your response i think is dead on. >> the news media. newt gingrich has been pivoting and attacking the news media and gaining. first it was maria bartiromo, he was primed to go after john king on something. and it was a gimme he had the opportunity in the very first question. >> but you said that republicans in south carolina hate what?
you said they hate the news media more than they hate open marriages or something along those lines that they would rather side with newt on this very personal question. >> i think it's also that people -- everyone has had trouble in their lives, family members, whatever. and mark haleprin and i were talking about this brought us back to 1992 and the trash for cash comment that bill clinton unleashed against jennifer flowers and got through the new hampshire primary. that's when mark and i were first on the road for competing networks working against each other. and wow, it was a moment. and we saw the way bill clinton pulled through and newt gingrich is riding this thing. he is riding public anger -- partly perhaps because the problems in the country are so big, personal issues, i think are just not going to resinate. >> and gene, if you wanted to find a state to test this theory
out that the state of bob jones university, and the state of -- i mean that. my wife is from upstate. she's from greenville. i know her friends. they grew up in -- >> perhaps the most conservative pocket of -- >> i think so. she grew up in greenville. and it was perhaps the most conservative area i've ever been on. i'm talking religiously. >> absolutely. >> and yet, if you want to do a test on this on whether personal matters mattered as much as policy matters, south carolina's a pretty good place to test that out. >> well -- >> and it looks like they don't want to hear about the personal. >> not right now. good christian forgiveness for personal sins, but none for the news media. >> right. exactly. >> and the timing of the question. you know, yes, you have to ask the question, i think, if you're john king at some point. but the first question? it was -- it was like a hanging
curve ball. >> all right. let me put andrea mitchell on the spot. you have covered presidents and politicians for years, you're one of the most respected journalists we have in this industry, how would you have -- >> shouldn't you be talking to me if you're talking to me? >> no. >> it's awkward. >> andrea, also as a woman, i have to say this, i know this is a loaded question, and i know it's tough, but what are some of the issues that we think about as journalists if you're going into a debate, a national debate right before the south carolina primary. what's the conversation we're having behind the scenes about how to handle it? say we were co-moderating the debate. >> which would have been so much fun. you don't want to second guess other colleagues. >> exactly. >> and the other piece of this is, you don't know how somebody would react to an unforced moment or spontaneous moment. but this was clearly a game plan. they made a very tactical decision to open with that
issue. i think you could argue that the fact that he had just released his taxes an hour earlier and mitt romney had so much difficulty as you were saying earlier dealing with that question, that would have been one way to open it because it's an economic issue that's dividing the country. and so gingrich has released his taxes, mitt romney, what is your response? >> sure, that is where you begin, perhaps. do you completely leave it out? >> no, absolutely not. it is an issue, it just happened, it had to be addressed. newt gingrich was clearly waiting for it. i think the timing of it made it even more -- >> this audience and parts of this audience didn't want to hear this talked about at all. why bring it up? >> mika, there's -- as we say in constitutional law, time, place, manner. the question is, what can you say, when can you say it, where can you say it, how can you say it? >> there's also a responsibility to ask the right questions.
>> if john had started -- and by the way, i am not second guessing john king, but he's become part of the story now because i believe he has helped elevate newt gingrich. but the question -- would it not have been better to talk, gene, about taxes? about tax returns, about all of these other issues instead of jumping right in? >> i question -- if you start with the open marriage issue, you're essentially saying this is the most important thing i have to ask you about. >> he said/she said, which by the way, newt denies, his daughters deny, and i'm not saying that makes it true. i'm saying that turns it into a he said/she said. >> you know, like in cross-examination, you lay the ground work for asking the question. and i certainly think you probably or at least my advice would have been to begin elsewhere and then perhaps in the second half of the debate
come into some personal issues. >> and if you're lucky, newt will say something about somebody else's character and then you can say speaking of character. >> you can have an opening. >> you've opened the door. so let me ask you about charges against you. >> and he'd never addressed it. that was the moment -- there's a real reason to answer the question because no one knew what his response would be. >> so andrea said something fascinating, and she's right, that newt gingrich was ready for this. he had a game plan. and as she said, that's what candidates do. they have a game plan when they have tough questions that are coming to them. >> well. >> which makes mitt romney's continued flubbing of the tax return question, i think one of the most astounding developments of this south carolina race. astounding that his staff cannot prepare him any better than this. >> it's hard to believe that he made that issue awkward and newt
gingrich was able to literally own the most awkward question of this election. so here's mitt romney after agreeing to release his tax returns in april. mitt romney has talked about this before. but he was asked about whether or not he should release everything because his father did. take a look. >> back in 1967, your father set a ground-breaking, what was then a ground-breaking standard in american politics. he released his tax returns. he released them not for one year, but for 12 years. and he said this, one year could be a fluke, perhaps done for show. when you release yours, will you follow your father's example? >> maybe. you know, i don't know how many years i'll release. i'll take a look at what our documents are. and i'll release multiple years, i don't know how many years, but
i'll be happy to do that. let me tell you, i know there are some who are very anxious to see if they can't make it more difficult for a campaign to be successful. i know the democrats want to go after the fact i've been successful. i'm not going to apologize for being successful. i went off on my own, i didn't inherit money from my parents. what i had, i earned, i worked hard in the american way. >> you know, he has -- and it's one of the things that's so frustrating to me but to other conservative thought leaders in washington, mitt romney has a great story that plays to us. steve rattner says -- a democrat who comes on our show. here's a guy that created a company on his own, that this capital wing of bain, and he built it on his own. >> right. >> and it was ground-breaking what he did, and as steve rattner says, he's got a lot to be proud of.
and that's a democratic financier saying that. but with that great story, how does he continue flubbing this basic question? >> why is it so hard? >> two things, you've commented on it and others have. they're not prepared. he doesn't have a substantive answer. i was thinking last night that there's another issue here. which is he's about the least folksy politician of all time. and tough issues require some combination of passion, like gingrich did and folksy, particularly in the south. and he ain't folksy, and that means tense situations become more tense by his mannerisms, the nervous laughter. >> michael dukakis. >> they told us he's lived on the real streets of america. >> oh, you know, i expect him to say i'm straight out of compton. can you believe that? no, seriously, that -- i've got to go to gene with that. that is talking about one of the least folksy guy. to say i come from the streets.
i really did expect a straight out of compton line. >> it was bizarre. it was bizarre and -- >> you know, that is, that is the other end of the spectrum of saying, yes, i go out and sho shoot -- >> i'm from the private sector, i know how jobs are created, all true, but not conveyed in a stylistic way that works. >> when you talk about not having an answer, it really is political malpractice on the part of his advisers or the candidate because, you know, two weeks ago in iowa, when i asked him or three weeks ago now when i asked him about the tax issue, he said, the question now was would you release your returns even if elected president of the united states? and he would not commit to that. and then he gradually moved. so he's been forced by circumstance to move, yes, april, after the last debate,
yes, multiple tax returns. they've had plenty of warning this was coming up. three or four weeks. >> how do you avoid the inevitable? it has to happen. >> and jay carney in the white house briefing said it was george romney back in 1968 who first was -- was the first candidate that said he would release taxes. that's what taught us that it was george romney. >> when a document in politics becomes famous for not being released, they can redeem themselves if they release it halftime at the super bowl. just for -- >> it's a question ultimately of trust. it's an opportunity to be transparent. and i think at this time when transparency and trust is at a minimum, i think, in washington and how people feel about congress, he is missing a huge opportunity. >> he is. i think for -- and this follows up on the brokered convention argument that you were talking about. you know, a lot of people behind the scenes, powerful republicans are talking about running favorite sons to gunk up the
process. >> have you been prompted by the florida delegation? >> no calls yet. >> i've told them no. >> i've lived in about 50 states. but the thing that is so frightening to the republican establishment and the conservative establishment is what a brittle candidate he's proving to be. and just how -- >> at this stage. >> and how audiocassette waswkws stage of the campaign. we know that if the white house and the opposite party had put out a press release talking about my dad releasing his tax records for 12 years, i would know that question was going to be asked of me. so when that question was asked, be ready to say, you know what? that is what my dad did and i look up to my dad and above -- and yeah, i'm going to do that. or you have something ready.
like newt had something ready. gene, we don't see that with this candidate and it's scaring the hell out of the republican establishment. >> and you can see why. he's been running for president for years, mitt romney has. and there's still this awkwardness, this inability to connect. >> you all are staying. we'll continue this conversation after the break. coming up by the way, stephen colbert will be here. i can't believe it. ahead of his big rally today with none other than herman cain. what's that about? also the chairman of the republican national committee joins us, and jim clyburn joins the conversation. you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks. ttd#: 1-800-345-2550
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>> oh, yeah, baby. >> thank you. thank you so much. >> we had a hard time getting you seated. >> thank you. >> because everybody wanted to talk to him. look at this. >> thank you. >> okay. seriously, i know who i want to sit next to. >> thank you very much. >> you know, jim, it's okay. >> this low country's great. >> you have just a few fans here. >> a few. thank you so much. love you too. >> oh, my gosh. she says you're gorgeous. >> oh, you're so kind. >> you know what else jim loves? jim loves watching republican debates like last night's debate. >> that's why you're smiling. >> that was a great show last night. absolutely. >> can you believe how lucky the president of the united states and the democratic party is right now? if charles krauthammer and peggy noonan are calling republican
debates clown shows -- >> suicide -- >> you know the republican brand is going downright now. and that actually helps democrats. >> well, maybe in the fall, but i think that while we're going through this process, i wouldn't start getting too happy yet. i know a little bit about this. >> then you should wipe the smile off your face. >> well, you've got to do, yeah. >> it's kind of hard right now, isn't it? >> you're exactly right. in politics, a week is a lifetime. a week ago, mitt romney had this thing locked up. today, he's looking at possibly not only losing iowa but losing south carolina. >> i think it's a very good possibility that he will. i think last night was a great night for democrats, but it was an even better night for newt gingrich. >> andrea mitchell, we do see a little pushback, though, you're hearing from behind the scenes in the republican party too newt gingrich. it isn't like there's been a complete turn around here and there's a new front-runner.
>> no, that's why the republican leadership, the national republicans -- haley barbour from mississippi who yesterday said if newt were the nominee, they would risk not having a republican speaker of the house. that he would -- objecting publicly yesterday to a new gingrich web ad which used huckabee from '08 endorsing gingrich and put out a statement saying, i don't, i haven't endorsed him, that was four years ago, i'm not taking a position and shooting him down. so even conservative republicans are concerned, those who worked with him. santorum made that point in a debate last night. i was there in the house. he didn't follow up on it, but he made a cogent argument against the criticisms of gingrich's leadership. >> i wonder what you do when you sit down on a day like this and figure out what to write about
in your next column. >> i certainly agree with congressman clyburn, though, if democrats are going to get all happy and say, oh, well, it's going to be a cake walk in the fall, they're crazy. >> right. >> we know it'll be a close election. >> hard times. >> you now have the still front-runner mitt romney who has been shown to have this issue, the money issue, the ritchie rich issue. that -- and republicans are kind of drawing the road map for how to go after that issue. they're bringing all the stuff out. and democrats are just taking notes at this point. and then you've got newt gingrich who is clearly on the rise in south carolina uncertain about what his prospects are in the rest of the country -- historically those odds are pretty good.
>> none of this happens in a vacuum. andrea was talking about earlier off camera about the president of the united states last night where he was. >> four fundraisers. >> four fundraisers. and i would guess today it's easier to raise money for the president than it was a week or two ago. again, this could all change, but right now the republicans are having an identity crisis and the president showed off some of his skills at the ioapoo last night. he took the stage and paid tribute to -- >> oh, yeah. >> the reverend al greene who was in the room. >> and then to know that reverend al greene was here. ♪ i'm so in love with you >> those guys didn't think i would do it.
i told you i was going to do it. the sandman did not come out. >> you know what? >> can you believe that he can do the reverend al greene that well? >> i think last night was a moment to sing, actually. >> it was dedicated to the republicans, you make me feel brand new. >> seriously. >> that's great. >> sandman is the guy who used to use the hook to get the amateur hour guys off stage. >> a little bit of al greene's huge hit, "let's stay together." but the president's in fine form right now. >> he certainly is in fine form. i think democrats are beginning to see what the definitions are going to be for the fall. and we've now got, i think, two front-runners on the republican side. and they give us a lot of things to do. >> and again -- >> stop it with the smiling. stop it now. >> right now. let's go back and talk about this. jim, we were talking about how
republicans were going to a bad spell, but you say it's a long way to go. we can even go back to the middle of december. the president was back on the ropes, about to give in on keystone, on tax cuts, and then the republicans overreached, things blew up, and the president after a pretty bad political year ended strong. >> absolutely. >> so again, there's going to be a back and forth. but what we're seeing now is i think we're starting to see this race really start to -- >> things change. >> it's firming up. and people pretty much know exactly what to expect. what we've got to do now as democrats, we've got to -- remember, this is all about people in their homes around the kitchen tables. it's all about young people having an opportunity to further their educations, stabilizing communities. we have got as democrats to focus on communities, on families. that is what's going to define this race in the fall. and now that the economy is
beginning to look much better, the president's 22 consecutive months of private sector job growth means a whole lot. we see the lowest number of people seeking employment, i think the lowest in four years. this kind of stuff will bode well for the president, but we've got to -- >> all right, congressman jim clyburn, thank you so much. andrea, thank you, as well. what a race, huh? good luck trying to figure out what to write. willie geist, what's coming up next? >> well, stephen colbert will be here shortly at the mills house. and coming up next, i'm going to talk to a couple of voters and see if their opinion of the candidates are different this morning than it was last night before the debate. we'll do that live from charleston, south carolina. [ male announcer ] lately, there's been a seismic shift
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welcome back inside the mills house here in charleston, south carolina. got a couple of voters. one from -- i like to call it g-vegas. carrie, you actually changed your mind about who you were supporting last night. >> i did. i was going for romney because i thought he was the gop favorite, but gingrich got up there with a fire in his belly. and i thought, if we're going to have somebody, it might as well be somebody who is a fighter. >> and mark from charleston? >> i thought it was great. i thought newt put it right to them. didn't take any baloney. i thought the question was totally inappropriate. >> were you for newt before the debate? >> i'm somewhat undecided. i'm leaning toward newt. i think we need new ideas, i am concerned that if we don't get 61 senators that it's going to be tough, but, you know, i think he still has the best ideas of the bunch. >> but you liked him more after the debate? >> absolutely. we don't need to be talking about personal issues. sure they're important, but there's much more important
things to our country. the economy, jobs, that's what we need to be talking about. >> and do you feel like, carrie, that mitt romney has a better chance to beat president obama as some have said and you just haven't fallen in love with the guy? >> i don't know he has a better chance at all. i mean, i think they will tear him apart. and i wonder what he's hiding with his taxes. i think they'll come after him with that too. >> people liked newt last night, at least here at the mills house. we'll hang out in g-vegas sometime? greenville, south carolina. tony perkins will join us coming up next. and should the presidential candidate with the most votes win? makes sense. we'll talk about tom golisano leading the charge to shake it up. this is an rc robotic claw.
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presidential candidate with the most votes can lose. during the presidential campaign, 3/4 of the states will be ignored by the candidates, this must be changed, and we are making progress. states representing nearly half the electoral votes needed have already said change it. visit supportpopularvote.com. and join the 70% who already support this very important change. welcome back. we're going to talk about that. but first, fresh off the presses, a press release from the mitt romney campaign, mitt romney announcing he has got the support, the endorsement of bob mcdonnell. >> supporting mitt romney, boy, mitt needs a good headline today. and bob mcdonnell. he's an up and coming star in the republican. >> up and comer, head of the republican governor's association and a real signal to a lot of other republicans. i think if gingrich wins the south carolina primary, you'll
see a flood of endorsements from the establishment for romney saying we don't want gingrich. we've got problems with romney, but we've got to end this. >> and bob is a conservative's conservative. he's a social conservative, a fiscal conservative. boy, bob mcdonnell is one of the few around today that actually gets the three legs of the republican party, social, economic, and actually libertarian. he's a small government guy too. >> it's an important endorsement to get. with us now tony perkins joins us, also with us tom golisano. very good to have you both with us this morning, gentlemen. >> we'll start with you, tom, because we showed your commercial coming in. support popular vote. we talked about it before. i think a lot of americans like the idea that the candidate that's got the most votes win. and you're about 50% to your goal of making that the law of
the land. >> actually, that's very true. recent gallup poll over 65% of the americans want us to go to the national popular vote. whereas the candidate who gets the most votes nationwide wins the election. four times in our history, which doesn't sound like a lot, but there's only been 56 presidential elections in our history, four times out of 56 times, the candidate with the least number of votes became president. we've also had near misses. for example, in 2004, if john kerry had gotten 66,000 more votes in ohio, just the state of ohio, he would've become president of the united states even though he had 3.3 million less votes than george bush. so the winner take all rule for the electoral process for president has got some serious flaws. i just mentioned one of them. the second is this phenomenon of battleground versus flyover states. we are electing the president of the united states, not the president of battleground states. >> right.
>> and when 225 million people get ignored during the general election campaign process, i'd say that's a real problem. >> makes a lot of sense. >> and my home state of florida doesn't want it because people spend billions of dollars in 30-second ads there. i saw you at the debate last night with your good friend fred thompson. were you there? >> i was there. >> help me out here. you obviously are one of the leaders of social conservatives in america. you saw the opening question that john king asked newt gingrich on marital problems. do you think as the head of the family research council that that's an appropriate way to start a debate? >> i think it's a legitimate question that is in the mind of voters about the character of a leader. i do not think it's the way to start a debate. in fact, i think i would have left it out of the debate. >> why is that? >> well, think about this. it's not -- we're talking about the issues of the economy, we're talking about the issues of
policy, but how many americans out there have gone through the pain of a divorce and would like that put out on the national stage? it was a very uncomfortable moment for people in the auditorium. i don't think cnn was trying to set him up. i think they were trying to deal with a hot potato, i think john king did a pretty good job with the debate. but it really played into newt gingrich's strength. and that is he beats up on the media. >> which is -- >> so you took this issue of morality and character and turned it into an issue of the media. and so the real issue got lost, and it became really a club for people to beat the media. and i -- i don't -- >> can you debunk another myth? and i think it's important for people, and i don't say this in a demeaning way at all. i was raised in the deep south, i understand evangelicals. we went to church three or four
times a week, it's a shame it didn't take more. but i understand my people. and i understand some people in manhattan, washington, and l.a. that may not have grown up in this don't understand the basic truth that evangelicals are actually -- a lot of -- not all, a lot of really judgmental jerks. but by and large, evangelicals are far more forgiving and far more understanding of sin because that is the center of the faith, forgiveness, grace. isn't that something that the national media misses? >> this has the reverse effect. >> they can't understand why newt could possibly win south carolina in an evangelical state. >> you're absolutely right. more than anybody, evangelicals understand the story of redemption that people make mistakes and there can be a turning point. the tension becomes have we reached that turning point? and on these issues, were they mistakes or character flaws that remain? and so there is a natural
tension there. but forgiveness does not necessarily translate into endorsement. >> right. >> and so i don't think -- the tension there is people don't want to be seen as judgmental because they're not judgmental. but at the same time, they're having some serious questions about the character of the candidates. >> about newt. and let me ask you, tom. we -- you're a businessman, a very successful businessman, and you're looking up on the stage at these candidates, and we want to talk about the other story line out of last night. and you can see mitt romney fumbling over a question that he knew was coming. as a businessman that understands the complexities of business. you've run for office before. >> yes. >> if you ran for president of the united states, you would know ahead of time that people are going to say, tom, release your tax records. were you dumbfounded that mitt romney can't get his arm around this basic question? >> i didn't think he handled it as well as he could've. you're right. he should've anticipated the question. why not get it out of the way
early? i don't think the gentleman has anything to be embarrassed or ashamed about even though his taxation rate was 15%. it's due to the fact that his companies that he's invested in already paid corporate taxes at the rate of 35% and 40%. so he's only being taxed on 15%, but in total, it's over half the earnings of that company. >> mark haleprin, obviously his campaign, they're political operatives, people who know the game, you know politics. what have they done now? haven't they made it a bigger mystery and made it look like there is something to hide? almost as if they've created their own destruction on this. >> they have. and it's going to keep coming up. mitt romney needs to define this race to be about something besides this, but his behavior last night means it's going to keep -- >> what's going on inside a campaign that can't handle this. the only thing i think is he doesn't -- >> well, there is a problem. i've been talking about the staff, you wonder about the candidate. and tony, we've been talking about leaders in the
conservative movement. you certainly are one of them. i haven't talked to you off the record. but boy, over the past 10, 15 days, they've all been telling me, this is a weak field. we've got to to figure out a ber way forward if we're going to beat president obama. are you hearing a lot of the same concerns that maybe mitt romney may not be up to that task, that newt gingrich may not be up to that task? >> this is part of the process of winnowing out the candidates. i think there are great hopes for rick perry when he first got into the race. he stumbled in the debates. there are the concerns about whether or not mitt romney, newt gingrich have the strength in a general election. there are concerns about whether rick santorum can make it in the general election. yes, there is some concern. what you've had is you've had such a number of candidates chomping at the vote and then they've been hurting each other. back to the issue of the taxation because this is an issue that has a lot of republicans divided is they're
attacking each other over the free market system and over how much they make and whether or not they're success itful. i don't care if mitt romney -- it doesn't bother me that he paid a 15% tax rate. what bothers me is that working families in america are paying more than 15%. >> thank you. >> we need to get those tax rates down for everybody. but for republicans to attack each other over success and over using the free market system is mind-boggling. >> and that's what charles krauthammer had said. republicans are killing ourselves because we have now, tom, shifted this debate under barack obama's ground onto the occupy wall street ground and the president is just going to knock republicans around all day if we keep talking. >> he's not going to have to do anything. >> get out there and get it over with. >> can i ask you a question? you know bill clinton pretty well. newt gingrich's answer last night to start the debate was to me very much like bill clinton, tough and confrontational, playing to the audience really well. do you see any similarities
between gingrich and clinton? >> do you mean politically? >> stylistically? >> nimble. >> the kind of people -- >> i can tell you in my opinion both of them are very intelligent individuals. there's no question about it. i spent a lot of time with bill clinton, spent a lot of time with mitt romney, with newt gingrich. i've been watching the debates. they're both very intelligent individuals. i think maybe bill clinton has a style that's more widespread, appealing than maybe newt gingrich. i think he's better experienced working an audience and a crowd and so forth. maybe because he's been president. >> there are a lot of similarities. >> well done. well crafted answer. that was good. >> have you officially come out and endorsed rick santorum? >> no. >> i know a group of evangelicals have. >> i have not endorsed a candidate. what we have done is endorsed the set of ideals and principles we stand for. rick santorum is very clear. it was a tossup between perry,
are santorum and gingrich. in the end 75% of the leaders said that rick santorum has that steady, stable record and we feel that he's most capable of going forward and being successful. >> there you go. >> it's great to see you. >> tony perkins and tom, thank you very much. still ahead, our one poll showing him topping the republican field in paver of a delicate here in south carolina. so can stephen colbert translate his popularity into a primary win? herman cain. you're watchi
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welcome back inside charleston, south carolina, at that touk about what the voters saw last night. you're from seabrook island, south carolina. you actually changed your mind watching last night. >> i did. >> from what to what? >> well, i was leaning romney, but i really think it's important that we have a change in the white house. and i think to beat obama we have to have somebody who has the gift to gab and that can really articulate the issues. and i think that newt is that
person. >> based on policy and ideas and everything else, you like mitt romney but based on the performance you switched to newt? >> i would say that, yeah. >> and you have gone for? >> not deciding on anybody and now for mitt. because he thinks the private sector should be responsible for creating jobs and not the government, and i think so, too. >> what did you think about newt's performance last night? >> i think he needs to answer to his indiscretions. and be accountable for what he's done, and it is an issue whether people think it is or not. your morality -- >> and you live in a house divided. your husband is for newt. >> right. >> how do you settle this? >> we do okay. we'll just cancel each other out tomorrow, i guess. >> thanks for being with us this morning. up next the chairman of the national committee is here plus stephen colbert. not much longer now. he'll be with us when we come back. ♪
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would you like to take some time to respond to that? >> no, but i will. i think the destructive, vici s vicious, negative nature of much of the news media makes it harder to govern this country, harder to attract decent people to run for public office, and i am appalled that you would begin a presidential debate with a topic like that. every person in here has had someone close to them go through pa painful things. to take an ex-wife and make it two days before the primary a significant question in a presidential campaign is as close to despicable as anything i can imagine.
my two daughters -- my two daughters wrote the head of abc and made the point that it was wrong, that they should pull it, and i am frankly astounded that cnn would take trash like that and use it to open a presidential debate. >> as you noted this story did not come from our network. as you know it is a subject in the campaign. i get your point. i take your point. >> john, it was repeated by your network. you chose to start the debate with it. don't try to blame somebody else. you and your staff chose to start this debate with it. now, let me be quite clear, the story is false. every personal friend i have who knew us in that period says the story was false. we offered several of them to abc to prove it was false. they weren't interested because they would like to attack any republican. they're attacking the governor, they're attacking me, i'm sure they'll get around to senator
santorum and congressman paul. they are protecting barack obama by attacking the public. >> well, back to "morning joe" in charleston, south carolina, where that debate happened last night. you know what, joe, i have decided you should do, if you want me to take mercy on you, come in with bandages on. >> i know. he just bandaged himself up. >> and tell me you got your arm locked in a steel door and crushed and you were in pain. >> that will do it. >> bite into a piece of celery you will know the sound i heard. >> oh, honey. i'm not going to ask you any hard questions. i am so sorry. great to have you on. >> ten minutes before alabama won the national championship, so i had to spend the night in the -- >> and you couldn't follow my
tweets. >> you should have watched the game. >> my right hand. >> we also have from orlando chief white house correspondent and political director and host of "the daily rundown" chuck todd. >> any war rooms? >> you saw that shot of newt gingri gingrich, and we keep replaying it. and there is, i think -- i think there's a parallel in modern republican history. this is our version. a bit longer. but this is our version in 2012 of ronald reagan's famous national declaration in 1980, i paid for this with my mr. green. it speaks to republican antagonism, whatever, and people just absolutely loved it last night. >> reporter: joe, i heard you make this point earlier and i thought you captured it better. we've been trying to -- gingrich has been the alpha dog this week. and he channels this anger, is
what i call it, but i thought you put it better when you said the resentment, the chip on the shoulder that conservatives feel particularly some and base conservatives that make up a lot of the electorate in south caroli carolina. and that's been -- when people talk about mitt romney's connection problem, that is one of his connection problems. he wasn't figuring -- for the last year he struggled to connect to the conservative resentment or outrage you've been pointing to. gingrich has always been good at this. that's his wheelhouse. he's very good at it and then he took a moment last night and, frankly, stole the debate right at the very beginning even though after that he wasn't particularly that good going throughout the debate but because he had the moment right at the top to the point where he boxes mitt romney in where mitt romney says, no, we should talk about other issues when clearly mitt romney doesn't, right, when he introduced himself as i'm mitt romney, i've been married
to the same woman for -- he was playing into it subtly. he saw what newt did and realized we have to move on. >> i want to explain this resentment just a little bit because a lot of people could understandably say why would a group of people who have been in the majority for 230 years in just about every way whether it's faith, race, et cetera, feel the resentment? it's a resentment coming out of the '60s and the '70s where you felt like the national media was constantly making fun of you, painted you in this "dukes of hazzard" box and where you felt everything you had believed constantly was being mocked by liberals and the mainstream media. >> reporter: right. >> i know it's a tired narrative in 2012 but that defined a lot. i had that resentment every time i read a "new york times" piece that said compared to
evangelicals to al qaeda. and that's what newt's playing off of and that's why everybody stands up and yells and why he could very well in south carolina and possibly florida. >> reporter: that's right and that's what we have to talk about here is the state of florida. we have to remember this is a closed primary. flo florida, yes, is a swing state in the general election. this is not going to have a lot of swing voters participating in this primary. this is not going to be new hampshire times ten where you have a bunch of independence floating around. yes, there are different factions in the republican party, maybe a lot more of the business class of the republican party, sort of the executive class, manager class, which is always good for romney. he does well with that part of the republican party. but there's a lot of religious conservatives in the state of flo florida. there's a lot of what you talk about, my dad was one of those conservatives who his resentment was always new york based.
those people in new york always think they know better than us type of thing. and oh, by the way, he was a voter here in the state of florida when he was alive so that is here. that is in florida and that's what -- it could turn on a dime. now romney has -- he's trying to make it a firewall. he's been on the air with millions of dollars. nobody else has. there is early voting and i think organizationally he will start with about a four to five point advantage. automatically he'll be banking votes already in many cases. and that could matter if somehow newt wins saturday and things start turning. >> and, mika, i wanted to bring up the last point that chuck made and people need to understand this. newt is making a surge now. what's today? on the 20th. january 20th. happy 21st birthday andrew scarborough, by the way. about 400,000 republican voters in florida have had absentee
ballots for three weeks now. so pre-gingrich surge on the 20th, a lot of people, 100,000 maybe, 200,000, have probably already sent their absentee ballot in. >> very interesting point. i want to get to this. what happened last night? it was so fascinating on so many levels? it started -- the debate started and changed everything before five minutes was passed. what were you thinking when you watched that moment? has the trajectory of the race, the natural one we thought would evolve organically, has it been completely thrown off course? >> i don't think so. i think there's been 18 or 19. >> there was a moment here. you don't think that could
change things? >> the hundreds of e-mails we get a day are not talking about this dirt that the media brings up at all and i think the media likes to talk about these things but the base for people voting on saturday, the people that are voting in florida and nevada, they're not talking about those sorts of issues and i think that fixation is something that you saw a reaction to meaning the difference -- >> a reaction that could play into newt gingrich's favor in a big way. >> it could. it could. what i saw last night was our base reacting to the fact that they don't appreciate the mainstream media's fixation on these issues that have nothing to do with getting our country back on track, firing a president who hasn't fulfilled his promises. those are the things that our base wants to hear. when you heard the candidates later in the debate saying, look, i think we should talk more about what this president promised and what he delivered, you saw also the crowd going cra crazy as well because i think they've had it with the sideshows and all of these other things. >> and how fascinating tony
perkins, the head of the family research council, basically said the same thing on our air which is let's not talk about the personal stuff. while it matters, voters want to hear about issues. >> but the polling shows that republican voters in general and in this state in particular are f focus like a laser beam on the economy like most americans across the country of both parties. chairman, i have a question for you, one is what's better for the party's prospects in the fall? a long, protracted, fully engaged campaign that goes all the way until march, april, may, june, or somebody consolidating support and winning the nomination quickly and, secondly, do you hear the same things we hear in terms of elite republicans who are starting to look at mitt romney and wonder is this really -- is this guy up to the challenge of taking on barack obama is this. >> on the second question, that's easy. no, i don't hear that at all. on the first question, you're not going to like my answer. my answer is honest. i think it's 6 to 1 and half
dozen the other. tough primaries with a little bit of drama have been good for the challenging party. >> look at barack obama against hillary clinton four years ago. >> and then classic battles between lee atwater and bob dole and bush 41 and reagan. this is not -- >> you notice how he brings up lee atwater and south carolina. good for you. >> well done. >> leeat water and bob dole. >> i don't think it matters a whole lot. in the end this will be a review of barack obama. did he fulfill the promises, and did he meet the standards that barack obama set for himself? did he or didn't he? if he did, he gets re-elected. if he didn't, he loses. >> mark halperin has a question for you, chuck. >> you did a wicked breakdown the other day and your assumptions at the time carry still in the race. santorum looking stronger than he does now. was the divide between rom think
and gingrich would be 60%. it seems to me now it could be closer to 80% than 60%. how do you break that down now? >> reporter: that's a big problem for mitt romney right there. they've never figured out how to get to 40%, if you will, how to get to 40% or 41%. that's the problem. look, i'll admit i have a hard time believing that perry even still in the race could have gotten to 8% to 10%. i know you have another guest. maybe the colbert bump will bail out romney here at the end and somehow make the pie smaller but i think that's a problem. if it's 80%, you've got to think then that's a conservative consolidation. the one good piece of good news is rick santorum was on his game last night and if he can get closer to 20%, 21%, 22%, that's good news for romney. by the way, there's going to be real soul-searching. there's a lot of former romney
people who are romney fans who were questioning the decision from the very beginning for romney to really seriously play here in south carolina. they made the decision to go all in a long time ago. and you wonder if they're regretting it today. if they're regretting not having that iowa feel where it was one foot in, one foot out. this is as admiral said, south carolina for moderates, it's a trap. >> yeah. >> i mean, look, it was quite a night last night. i have to say i could feel things changing and for the first time i don't think mitt romney has this whole thing locked up. >> it was quite a night and, again, the two takeaways last night, chairman, one, newt gingrich batted that question out of the park. two, mitt romney still has some work to do. >> this is the start. it's not the finish. we've changed the rules and it's proportional voting starting in most of february and march. it could take some time but
we'll be ready to go in defeating waem obama and saving america. >> okay. >> thank you so much. chuck todd in orlando. thank you. >> what are you laughing about? thank you, chuck. >> i will see you. in a few minutes stephen colbert will be here. but first, let's go to bill karins with a check on the forecast. bill? good morning, mika. we're on pins and needles waiting to see what's going to happen when he shows up. the forecast for tomorrow as we go throughout the primary in south carolina, there are some rain showers in the forecast but it will be mild. it's not an all day rain or anything. the turnout really should not be affected. the other big story out there what's going to happen we watch the snow moving into chicago during the morning hours could have some airport delays significant by this afternoon and that drive who home for school or work will be very difficult anywhere northern illinois, southern portions of the great lakes. we're also going to watch this storm. we're the first ones of the season going from the midwest right to the northeast. a lot of cities will expect to get a little bit of snow, enough
to shovel and enough to plow including pittsburgh, cleveland. it looks like areas just north of indianapolis and then eventually just north of philadelphia and areas around new york city saturday morning you'll have some snow to deal with. nothing huge or blockbuster but enough for the kids to go play on a saturday. otherwise the other forecast the northwest has been hit so hard especially around the seattle a area. you have the snow and then the freezing rain. a lot of people still without power there. more rain today but at least it's warming up. you're watching "morning joe." [ male announcer ] let's level the playing field. take the privileged investing tools of wall street and make them simple, intuitive, and available to all. distill all that data. make information instinctual, visual. introducing trade architect, td ameritrade's empowering web-based trading platform. take control of your portfolio today.
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♪ here i am rocking like a hurricane ♪ oh, boy. >> welcome back to charleston, south carolina. joining us now -- dare i say the next president of the united states of america. stephen colbert. >> wow. >> we've been talking for some time about republicans thinking about putting favorite sons on the ballot. they gunninged up the process. you would think that the leaders of this state would get mr. south carolina himself, mr. game congress, as he likes to call himself, on the ballot. >> i'm also mr. tiger.
>> that's right. >> herman cain seems to be your vessel, your way into the white house. explain the thinking there a little bit. >> herman cain is my main man, a tax plan with a plan so find they called it 9-9-9. the mad max of the flat tax. herman cain has qualities that i admire. he's a family man. he's pro business and he has something i don't think i'll ever have. >> what's that? >> a place on the south carolina bat ballot. so people should vote for herman cain on saturday and then i will know -- i will know that people out there share both mine and herman cain's values. >> and so then you find a different vessel in florida. >> excuse me? >> you jump from vessel to vessel l. >> do you know who would be great in florida? >> who's that? >> joe. >> exactly. exactly. >> do they allow write-ins?
>> they would not allow me on the ballot. >> why not? >> it would seem to me that you should be able 0 to be written in in south carolina -- >> i think anybody should be able to be written in anywhere. that's just freedom. that's just freedom. >> why is it, can i ask you, why is it the leaders of south carolina hate freedom so much? >> they love freedom, joe. that's why we fought a civil war. >> then why aren't you on the ballot? >> read hisly? >> can you explain to us, i was talking about the first time i spoke in front of a south carolina audience -- >> the greatest audience in the world. [ applause ] willie knows that. willie knows that. you know, i have not seen you since sting's 60th birthday party. you, me and brokaw, that was a party. >> and there were a bunch of hedge fund guys that sting would be in the middle of singing a song and they would get up, go
out to get a beer. it was nonstop. >> what i don't under when i see you in public, how you can be morning joe brought to you by starbucks because you seem like evening joe brought to you by jack daniels. >> i've got the flask. >> i don't understand how you can do both. >> you never know what's in these cups, really. >> that's why this is not clear. well said. well said. >> can i get a cup of coffee? >> can we get stephen some coffee here? >> louis, you can do that, right? >> kate got it. >> it's a prop. it's a prop. it's an empty cup. >> i'm a human being with 161 late night shows a year. i need coffee like i need oxygen. >> drink it and love it. >> america runs on starbucks. >> a serious question -- >> oh, great. >> if you're serious about this candidacy, sir -- >> i do not have a candidacy. my lawyer, trevor potter, has made sure i say i am not a federal candidate. i have exploratory committee to
explore the possibility of being president of the united states of south carolina. >> got it. >> that's what keeps me out of fdc jail right there. i don't do that, i go to the big house, willie. >> exactly. >> the clam bake. >> as we travel the state, canvassing, talking to people about what really matters -- >> the real people -- >> one thing, what, sir, is your position on open marriages? >> hmm. >> i just can't believe that a journalist of your stature -- >> he's adorable. >> -- such garbage like that. i don't care to answer that question. i don't care to answer that question, willie. i don't think the people in this room want me to answer the question. >> standing ovation. >> i'm all for it. i'm all for it but you need two people to make that vote. >> at least. >> that's right. >> that is always the rub, isn't
it? we've done something for you, stephen -- >> what have you zbhot. >> the 2012 presidential primary date deadline and, sure, south carolina didn't work but california. the deadline for actually being on the ballot march 23rd. why don't you take -- winner take all you. >> joe, joe, i'm still exploring. i can't make any commitments until i finish exploring. how is the moon, neal armstrong? how is the moon? i haven't even launched the rocket yet, joe. i can't say one small step for man yet. be patient, joe. i know you hunger for my candidacy. >> i hunger for you, stephen. >> oh, this is going downhill. >> that's about an open marriage. >> i understand you actually knew this guy back in college. you and colbert. >> we don't want to talk about that. because the statute of limitations has still not expired on some of that behavior
at northwestern university. but i do have a super pac question for you. >> okay? you still have a super pac. no-fly zo i to longer have a super pac. john stewart took it from me. i can't hand it from. he has to offer to take it. >> the other night on tv he decides to spend some of what use used to be your money on a fancy italian meal prepared by batalli. took the food, ate it, and then spit it into john stewart's mouth. >> like a mama bird. >> i wonder if at that moment was the moment you thought, why didn't i think of that? >> no, it is not. why didn't i think of chewing food up and spitting it in stewart's mouth? how do you know i haven't done that, john? i worked over there for a lot of years. >> do you want to make a disclosure here about that? >> no, i am not. again, garbage questions. >> you were kept out 0 of last night's debate. >> i don't understand. i'm polling at 13% nationally in
a three-way race between mitt romney and barack obama. >> where were you. >> i was right here in the mills house eating buffalo wings. >> so romney -- >> could be worse. >> romney is going after gingrich for comparing himself to historical figures, churchill and reagan and all of that. which historical figure would you compare yourself to? >> i don't like comparing myself to martin luther king. i like it when other people do it. i'll leave it at that. >> so you're still exploring. sorry, willie. but did you want to be on that stage last night? did you feel it in your gut? do you have the fire in the belly? >> no. no, i don't. no, i do not. we're still striking sparks, mika. i know you're a journalist and trying to get an answer. >> the super pac taken from you -- >> formerly the colbert super pac now the definitely not
coordinating with stephen colbert super pac thoen as americans for a better tomorrow tomorrow. >> i don't know if you saw what they're doing with this super pac money, john stewart and his pensions over there. look at the attack ad. >> this east coast hollywood elitist is exploring a run for president of the united states of america of south carolina. come on, why is the "t" in his name silent? what else is he silent about? letting murderers out of jail? now a super pac that he founded is running attack ads against him just so we'll think they're not coordinating. >> enough is enough! i have had it with these moneygrubbing super pacs messing with our money to elections. >> south carolina sends stephen colbert a message. on january 21st, vote herman cain because we can't afford to have a leader like this. >> look, i just think that rosa
parks was overrated. overrated. overrated. >> what are they doing -- what were they doing to that bird? >> it's a carrier pigeon sending the message. >> why is the "t" silent? >> why is the "t" silent? we're saving up those ts for needy people who do not have enough ts in their names. we're shipping them overseas to countries who don't have ts at all. an act of bravery. i was shocked by that commercial. i never expected that. that's something i never planned with john. >> or coordinated. >> totally uncoordinated. >> what were they doing with the bird? >> that's a carrier pigeon. ask the people who made that ad. >> it appears they were sticking something in the carrier pigeon. >> they were putting a note on the carrier pigeon as far as i can see, joe. my staff did not make that ad. john stewart's staff made the ad and they happen to be the same staff that used to work for me on my super pac but legally john can hire them away from my staff
and they can work in my building with other members of my staff who are working on my exploratory committee but we keep them separate. if if they're talking about anything to do with the super pac, my staff has to go -- a the entire time they're talking. that keeps it legal. >> and one of the remarkable things is you haven't even seen these ads. >> i don't see these ads. >> you cannot coordinate these ads. >> no. that ad -- >> you've never seen these ads. so let me ask you, despite that fact of never seeing these ads -- >> yes, sir. >> what part of the ad do you like the best? >> the part i like the best was the using the willie horton ad from 1998, the murderers being released. on the record, i'm not going to confirm or deny whether i ever released any murderers, but if i did release any murderers, it's only because i first released some shoplifters and to go get
some arsonists, i had to get the arsonists back i had to release the murderers, but i'm going to get the murderers back by releasing -- >> you released the shoplifters as a gateway to releasing murderers? >> yeah. >> so is it not -- it is actually comical to see somebody like mitt romney say i haven't even seen the ads in the debate. i haven't seen the ads but let me tell you something, the part of that ad that i thought was really disturbing was -- >> in terms of what i understand was in it -- >> the bigger point is the super pac is a farce. >> disingenuous or that mitt romney is psychic. ever think about that? think about that. >> can we get back on -- >> we can get back to whatever you want to do. we are just sort of wandering around. >> back to open marriage. this is the question i think should have been asked of newt gingrich. i'll ask you. speaking purely hypothetically what is the best way to broach that subject with one's spouse?
>> honey, i'd like to bang someone new. just, you know, honesty is the best policy. here is the thing that i don't think newt gingrich gets credit for. a lot of politicians screw around on their wives but he was enough after gentleman to ask permission. okay? that's a southern gentleman. that's what robert e. lee would have done. i'm sorry. >> in some ways all of his marriages have been open marriages. >> absolutely. i don't speak french. >> we've gone a long way from johnny perkins an hour ago. >> tony is a good guy. did you ask him about open marriage? >> yeah. >> how does he feel about it? >> well, he department talk about his opinions on open marriage, but he did not feel that the question was appropriate especially where it was placed. >> yeah. >> don't put it up top. >> don't put it up top. another thing his second wife said. >> i know you're not a candidate, you're only exploring
the possibility. >> you're a died in the wool conservative. you want to beat the president. is mitt romney conservative enough for you? is he skilled enough to beat the president? >> you know what, i don't know. i think that mitt romney is probably a very good guy. but a recent poll put out by marist and paid for by the definitely not coordinating with stephen colbert super pac has found 41% of south carolinians are not satisfied with their choices. >> right. >> i don't think that's good news. i don't think that's good news for anybody but herman cain. >> not good news. >> what do you think when you see polls that show you're the most trusted candidate in south carolina? >> i have the highest favorability -- i have the highest favorability rating of any of the republican candidates even though i'm not one. nationally. nationally i have the highest favorability ratings, joe.
[ applause ] >> let's just soak this in for a second and think about how absolutely disturbing it is that stephen colbert is seen more favorably as guys who have been running for president of the united states for a decade. >> i have to imagine that several of those respondents were my mother. >> you're only 9% more popular than ron paul. >> ron paul's a good man. >> yeah. >> do you know if you guess ron paul's name he has to teach to you spin hay into gold. if you guess his name. >> so, stephen -- >> where will you go next? >> if you had to choose one of
the -- oh, stop -- one of the republican candidates, if you had to -- >> if i had to choose one of them? herman cain. i would pick herman cain. >> you're sure? >> he's a washington outsider. how much more of an outsider -- >> you have to choose someone who is running. what if you had to choose from the four on the stage last night? >> can i chop them up and sew them into one person? >> please. >> i've heard that before. >> fantastic. >> i like ron paul. i really do. i really do. i really like ron paul. the guy is intellectually consistent. >> yes, he is. >> he says the same thing monday that he said on sunday. he doesn't change with the winds. that's admirable, i think. >> you are a south carolina guy. talk about every four years south carolina, i think, shapes a presidential election more than any other state. talk about south carolina and this state.
its fascinating history and people. >> i don't think all people growing up in the state are taught about their home state. like people in south carolina are. and i talk to -- we live up in the new york area now and my kids growing up aren't learning that much about where they grew up. starting in third grade every year i had a course that was just south carolina history. i know that our state motto is sparrow sparrow. while i breathe i hope. you're not sure you could do that in every state. >> i'm not sure you could. >> that's cool. >> my wife is from greenville and she put on the front of her car, she has the south carolina tag. there is something about south carolina that stays with you. i want to ask you something that i've asked meacham, a southern guy. jon meacham. >> a southern guy. and one of the challenges because jon also lives in the new york area. >> he does, yeah. >> one of the challenges is
keeping your children that grow up in manhattan or the new york area connect ed to your home. >> yes. >> south carolina is your home. >> absolutely. so we drag our children down here. we make them spend the summer down here and we force them to catch crabs with raw chicken necks. >> perfect that will do it. >> we force them. we have forced them -- we have forced them to enjoy the smell of low tide. we have forced them -- somehow we have brainwashed our children to enjoy the smell of decay. >> how is it working for them? >> it's great. they can't wait to get down here. >> you do bring them down a lot. >> and we send them to camp in north carolina. my wife, whose family -- that's my father-in-law right back there. >> hello. >> right next door there was a ball and my wife's family -- if
a woman this it marries outside the society she can't go to the ball anymore. and so my wife likes to lord it over me she had to resign to marry me. that's the great wound in our relationship. >> she has resigned from a lot. >> today at 1:00 you and herman cain get together. >> history happens. history happens. >> ridiculous. >> clapping and talking. how things always change, willie, with television cameras. it's happening right here. >> good enough for me. >> history will be at least imagined. >> thank you so much. >> thank you for having me. it was wonderful to be here. >> it was nice to meet your father-in-law. he's a lovely man. very nice. >> a lovely fellow and he puts up with me. >> yes, he does. >> he said he's a mika fan, too. >> who isn't? >> i know. >> college of charleston today, the rally at 1:00. >> 1:00. >> and the herman cain will be there. you're not the headline. >> it's about herman cain, no question. >> stephen, thanks.
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cards. with his imposing 11-foot height rick perry can make leadership, authority and respect. and then tragedy struck when a terrorist put a live microphone in front of his open mouth. >> i can't. i'm sorry. oops. >> after that brain fart he lost the approval of the american people and nothing he ate could ever bring him back. today perry quit the campaign while a creepy guy behind him caressed his thighs. perry is now looking for jobs in the private sector. >> welcome back. there's still a buzz. >> oh, yeah. >> a little hangover here. we're going to take you back up as we say good-bye to governor rick perry. he stepped out of the race yesterday, threw his support behind newt gingrich. >> willie, i've never seen you as upset -- well, also when the taco bell chihauhau died. >> that's true. that was tough for you.
>> and the sarah mclaughlin tribute to you, "i will remember yo you." >> i went to the perry event and he was weeping. >> some said it was unprofessional for a journalist to be weeping. i make no apologies. here you go. >> as i have contemplated the future of this campaign, i have come to the conclusion that there is no viable path forward for me. ♪ i will remember you will you remember me ♪ >> it's three agencies of government when i get there that are gone. commerce, education, and the -- what's the third one there? i can't -- the third one i can't. sorry. oops. if you want a slick debater, are i'm obviously not your guy. against the second amendment, before he was for the second amendment, was before he was before it shall you try concentrating with mitt romney
smiling at you, that is one handsome dude. oops. there's something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the hail tear but our kids can't openly celebrate christmas. to expand your tax footprint. you know what i mean. you can take herman cain and make him up with newt gingrich, i think you would have a couple of really interesting guys to work with. live free or die. victory or death. bring it. the ultimate justice in the state of texas, and that is you will be executed. we were treated pretty ugly down in texas. if they print any more money over there in washington, they go, oh, it's going to be good. those of you that will be 21 by november the 12th, i ask for your support and your vote.
>> sonia sotomayor. >> that great movie star flipper. it is a ponzi scheme. ponzi scheme. help is on the way, brother. love you, brother. love you, brother. today has been awesome, girl. the coolest thing happened. i'm a doer not a talker. >> and save a pretzel for the gas jets. ♪ i would fly higher than an eagle ♪ ♪ you are the wind beneath my wings ♪ >> adios. ♪ did i ever tell you you're my hero ♪ >> wow. >> willie, i miss him. >> adios.
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can't ride the horse, mika. welcome. gibbs, fantastic. welcome back to "morning joe." let's talk about what we learned today. mika, what a day. what have you learned? >> i learned that newt gingrich has the ability to win a debate in 30 second or less. >> all right. what did you learn, willie? >> that my kindergarten teacher, kathy, is here in charleston today. so good to see you. >> so was willie a trouble mmak at 5 years old? >> no 0, he was not. he is terrific just like today. >> i don't believe that. what have you learned? >> the thing i learned from stephen colbert is how you broach the subject of open marriage with your wife. >> what did you learn? >> we can all move down here and have a lot of friends already.
>> oh, my gosh. i love -- i didn't learn it but i relearned how much i absolutely love south carolina and charleston. and also, mika, a big day today. andrew scarborough turns 21 years old. after the show i'm heading home to pensacola and we're going to celebrate the 21st birthday. >> happy birthday, andrew. have a great time tonight. wow. >> he may be 21 but no shots of tequila for andrew. but this is -- i think we did relearn, south carolina, it is the defining state. it seems every four years. >> spicy stew. iowa and new hampshire, pregame. this is the real deal. >> what's the stew for florida? >> makes it a battle royale. and we're going to have a great time down there. >> don't speak french. next you'll be talking about your garage.